Sex trafficking defined:

Sex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that exists throughout the United States and globally. Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion. 


How Does it Happen?

The situations that sex trafficking victims face vary dramatically. Many victims become romantically involved with someone who then forces or manipulates them into prostitution. Others are lured in with false promises of a job, such as modeling or dancing. Some are forced to sell sex by their parents or other family members. They may be involved in a trafficking situation for a few days or weeks, or may remain in the same trafficking situation for years. 

Victims of sex trafficking can be U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, women, men, children, and LGBTQ individuals. Vulnerable populations are frequently targeted by traffickers, including runaway and homeless youth, as well as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war, or social discrimination. Sex trafficking occurs in a range of venues including fake massage businesses, via online ads or escort services, in residential brothels, on the street or at truck stops, or at hotels and motels

*Information above came from Shared Hope International and Polaris Project


Sex Trafficking Facts:

  • Traffickers use violence, threats, lies debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will. Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 years induced into commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion. (Polaris Project)

  • Sex Trafficking is the second largest growing criminal enterprise.

  • Sex economy estimates ranges from $39.9 million in Denver, CO to $290 million in Atlanta, GA.

  • The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 13.

  • Some victims are kidnapped, but most are groomed by their trafficker for days to months before they are forced or coerced into preforming sex acts.

  • Trafficking fuels organized crime groups that usually participate in many other illegal activities, including drug and weapons trafficking and money laundering.

  • Commercial Sex Industry includes prostitution, sex trafficking, pornography, strip clubs and any other source that exploits women in terms of sexual conduct in exchange for goods or money.


4 Types of Sex Trafficking:

1. Gang: A close knit community with members who impose rules, structure and loyalty to build a commercial sex enterprise. They earn money through selling women and children through acts of prostitution.  

2. Pimp (trafficker): Traffickers in street based commercial sex seek to make their victims dependent on them by creating a false sense of romantic relationship, or become a care taker or father-figure. When multiple victims are working for the same controller, a sense of family becomes critical in the maintenance of the exploitative relationship. Traffickers use these relationship bonds to compel victims into providing commercial sex. Traffickers in street-based commercial sex settings often create extreme systems of behavioral expectations with harsh and often unpredictable punishments. For example, victims may not allowed to walk on the sidewalks, but instead walk along the street. They may not be allowed to look other traffickers in the eye or may be required to take on a completely new persona and identity. Punishments have been reported to be extremely harsh, including physical beatings, sexual assault or torture techniques. (National Human Trafficking Hotline)

3. Familial: Often a ‘family business’, trafficking is a culture within the family that is passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, within a family that traffics their children, it is rare that one single person is the trafficker and enabler; but rather the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have all been raised in a similar way and may play a role in the trafficking. As a result of this, it is difficult for someone who grew up in a familial trafficking environment to recognize their victimization and to break the cycle with their own family. As the main goals of the trafficker in a familial trafficking situation is power and control, they will work hard to maintain normalcy to the world outside of their own family. (Exploit No More)

4. Survival Sex: Exchanging one's body for basic subsistence needs, including clothing, food, and shelter ... Runaway and homeless youth are forced to participate in human trafficking practices such as survival sex or forced labor out of necessity. (National Runaway Safeline) 

 

People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos, is because things are being loved and people are being used.
— John Green